Photos: LSU wins the Outback Bowl _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU offensive lineman Trai Turner and his dad, Barry Turner, celebrate LSU's 21-14 win over Iowa in the Outback Bowl on Wednesday in Tampa, Fla.

1 What we learned

The LSU Tigers can overcome adversity. Despite being without quarterback Zach Mettenberger (knee injury), defensive tackle Ego Ferguson (illness) and starting a true freshman at quarterback (Anthony Jennings), the Tigers were able to grind out a victory against an out-talented but stubborn Iowa Hawkeyes team. Sometimes, as is often the case, the Tigers had to overcome adversity of their own doing. But they put their faith in a resurgent defense and a potent running game to outlast the elements and the Hawkeyes.

2 Trending now

Running back Jeremy Hill. If the Outback Bowl was the NFL draft-eligible sophomore’s final game as a Tiger, it was quite an exit. He slashed through Iowa’s sturdy rush defense for 42 yards on the game’s first offensive play and didn’t stop until he’d piled up 216 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. For the season, Hill finished with 1,401 rushing yards, the second best regular season in LSU history behind only Charles Alexander (1,686 yards, 1977). Hill’s 216 yards were the third most in Outback and LSU bowl history.

3 Final thoughts

Even as he accepted the Outback Bowl MVP trophy, Hill admitted the Tigers came up short of their always-lofty BCS championship aspirations. But considering the players who left early for the NFL and the vulnerability of the defense, that the Tigers finished 10-3 with a school record fourth straight 10-win season should be satisfying for now. LSU fans next turn their attention short term to Thursday’s Under Armour game and long term the hit LSU’s offense could take in this year’s draft.